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World's best budget glamping destinations

Published December 4th, 2014

For some happy  campers, pitching a tent in the open, drinking around a campfire and sleeping under the stars is one of those life-affirming experiences. For others, getting back to nature is an experience that just affirms they don’t do camping – 3-day music festival or not. Enter glamping; the accommodation portmanteau where your tent/yurt/treehouse/tipi comes with high thread-count sheets (at least!) and flushable toilets. You’re outdoors with your creature comforts. And it doesn’t always cost a lot to camp in luxury. Here’s where in the world to go glamping on a budget. Go glamp!



A yurt in Mongolia

A yurt or a ger is the portable traditional home of nomads living in Mongolia and this round tent is the authentic way to go glamping in Central Asia. Stay in East Gobi surrounded by mountains, check out the wildlife and ride mountain bikes, camels and horses like a Mongol. Check out Red Rock Wilderness Park, which even has a library yurt onsite, or sleep in a handmade ger in the middle of cliffs hiding dinosaur fossils at Three Camel Lodge.

Best time to glamp: October to May



An Airstream in the USA

RV camping is synonymous with the US, but these ain’t no trailer parks. Take the iconic sleek aluminium bullet shape of the Airstream travel trailer and pair with pimped-out interiors for a cool American retro stay. Luxury amenities can include clawfoot baths, flatscreen TVs and a sound system! Check in to the Santa Barbara Auto Camp or Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort in California, The Vintages Trailer Resort in Oregon or Living Airstream in Colorado.

Best time to glamp: October to May



A safari tent in Kenya

The distant rumble of elephants. Antelopes and giraffes grazing while you eat. Sleeping under the stars under Mount Kilimanjaro. Yep, you can live out your safari daydreams in Kenya at Tsavo West National Park and Tsavo East National Park. Go on a game drive by day and sleep in luxury tents with canopied beds. Take a walk on the wild side at Severin Safari Camp in the Kitani Wildlife area of Tsavo West National Park.

Best time to glamp: Anytime



A log cabin in Canada

Wear your plaid without a hint of irony in the cosy confines of a timber cabin. Get back to nature in a forest where grizzly bears hang out, wild salmon shimmies upstream and you can go kayaking or SUP boarding in a pristine environment. Some camps in Canada offer adventurous activities like zip-lining, ice skating, biking and horse riding too. Get amongst the rugged wilderness in a log cabin at The Wilderness Way Adventure Resort in British Columbia.

Best time to glamp: Anytime



A treehouse in Costa Rica

Welcome to the jungle, baby. The cloud forest canopies of Costa Rica are best viewed from the vantage point of your very own treehouse, naturally. The eco-tourism and adventure capital of Central America is ideal for lovers of the outdoor with beautiful beaches, a diverse eco system and a laidback vibe. For a bird’s eye view, relive your childhood in the trees at a glamping retreat like Rancho Pacifico on the Costa Ballena.

Best time to glamp: Anytime



An eco pod in Chile

It doesn’t get more post-apocalyptic than a fully sustainable stay in a futuristic pod in the desert.  Bio-Dome, anyone? Go glamping in Chile's Atacama Desert where an eco cube or geodesic dome will teleport you into the future. It’s not cheap, but worth the splurge to be an early adopter. The eco cubes at Tierra Atacama have volcano views and the cabins and domes at Elqui Domos are ideal for stargazers – it’s the only astronomic hotel in the Southern Hemisphere.

Best time to glamp: September to April


Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.